Is It Safe To Eat Salmon Skin While Pregnant?

To be cautious, you should probably steer clear of salmon skin if you’re expecting or breastfeeding.

If the salmon originates from clean waters, the advantages of eating the skin will likely outweigh the risks for the majority of other people.

Salmon skin can be cooked separately from the fish’s flesh to create delectable dishes you may not have tried before. The feel of crispy fried salmon skin is comparable to bacon’s, but it doesn’t come with many of the same health risks. Additionally, baked salmon skin can be eaten as is for a nutritious snack or broken up and used as a salad decoration (imagine croutons without the carbs!).

Salmon varieties that are safe to eat while pregnant

Fortunately, pregnant women can safely eat a wide variety of salmon recipes. These consist of:

Because it is pasteurized or sterilized during the canning process, salmon in cans is safe to consume while pregnant (source: Science Direct).

Remember that salmon in cans often contains bones, so make sure to remove the bigger ones.

You can increase your calcium intake by eating the smaller bones, but this is a matter of preference.

Pouch forms of cooked/flaked salmon are safe to consume when expecting. Similar to canning, the fish is prepared and sterilized in a different manner.

Cooked salmon steak, including fillets and steak cut across the fish, is safe to consume while pregnant.

Any cooking technique will make salmon safe to eat as long as the fish has been sufficiently cooked. This includes salmon steaks that have been grilled, broiled, barbecued, pan-fried, baked, or poached.

To eradicate any potential bacteria or diseases, the fish’s inside temperature must reach 145F, or 63c (source: USDA).

Salmon that has been fully cooked is transparent throughout. It needs longer time to cook if there are any transparent or jelly-like patches, especially in the center of a thick steak.

If the steak wasn’t prepared by you, make sure it’s fully cooked by cutting into it and checking from the middle, especially if it’s a thick piece.

Within a few days of being cooked, or when it is purchased fully cooked and cooled, cooked salmon can be eaten cold (for example, in a salad) if it is stored properly in a refrigerator.

If it is wrapped and stored correctly, cold, cooked salmon is safe to consume during pregnancy. You may find some advice on food preparation and storage here.

When thoroughly cooked, salmon skin is just as safe during pregnancy as salmon steak.

It is safe to consume if it is served “crispy” or thoroughly cooked. You can eat the skin of something like a pan-fried salmon steak if you want to.

Some sushi rolls and wraps also contain crispy salmon skin; if you enjoy sushi, you’ll also want to read our detailed guide on eating it safely while pregnant.

If thoroughly cooked, all of these popular salmon recipes are safe for pregnant women. Make sure the interior temperature hits 145F/63 before eating if you’re heating them up from cold, and you should be okay.

  • fried salmon cakes
  • casserole with salmon
  • Fish pie with salmon
  • Salmon on the way (though check any sauce it contains too)


Although eating salmon skin is generally thought to be harmless, the salmon’s origin and quality may come into play.

Pregnant or nursing women, for example, who may be more susceptible to possible toxins, should steer clear of salmon skin entirely. The majority of people may find that eating salmon skin from a reliable source is a terrific method to increase their intake of healthy fatty acids and nutrients.

How to prepare fish safely when pregnant

You’ve probably heard by now that you should steer clear of sushi while pregnant, just as you should steer clear of any other raw or undercooked seafood (smoked salmon, oysters, ceviche, etc.), as these foods may carry bacteria and parasites (like Listeria) that could harm your unborn child.

The following advice on preparing fish will help you consume it while minimizing your exposure to any potential contaminants:

  • Be sure to properly refrigerate any fresh seafood you purchase. If you’re not going to cook it right away, keep it in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
  • Use different cutting boards for fruits, vegetables, and meats (including fish).
  • Never repurpose marinades.
  • Cook all varieties of seafood—including shucked clams, oysters, shrimp, lobster, and scallops—until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have access to a thermometer, you’ll know the fish is done when the flesh is opaque (milky white) and the filets readily break apart with a fork.
  • Throw away any clams, mussels, or oysters that don’t open after being cooked while still in their shells.

Dangers of Consuming Salmon Skin

However, if you intend to consume the fish skin, it’s crucial to consider where your salmon comes from because the skin absorbs more liquid than the flesh. Salmon is highly nutritious and delicious, but it also has a chance of being polluted with pollution and other toxins. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and methylmercury are two of these toxins that have both been connected to birth abnormalities. Pregnant women are recommended to stay away from all types of salmon skin because of this.

Atlantic salmon raised in farms is the variety that is most polluted. Although wild salmon from the Atlantic is preferable to farmed salmon, it may still be toxin-contaminated. To be safe, experts advise avoiding the skin of Atlantic salmon before cooking it. Your best option for enjoying salmon skin while avoiding contaminants is wild salmon from the Pacific. As a popular Pacific salmon species, chinook salmon is a fantastic option when purchasing and preparing salmon.

Salmon skin can be cooked on its own and is still good when eaten with the flesh. Salmon skin that has been baked makes the ideal healthy snack or salad topping. Crispy fried salmon skin is a delicious substitute for bacon. Salmon skin has a wealth of health advantages, so eating it alone or along with the rest of the fish will be well worth it.

Is grilled salmon safe to eat when expecting?

Salmon that has been fully cooked is safe for your unborn child and offers various advantages, such as improved brain and eye development. 2 Salmon that has not been canned in a shelf-stable manner is not regarded as being safe to eat.

Can a pregnant woman consume grilled fish skin?

Despite the fact that this is mostly untrue, some people may refrain from eating fish skin out of concern that it is harmful.

Fish skin has been safely consumed for centuries. Even many nations and civilizations enjoy it as a snack.

The skin of fish is usually acceptable to consume as long as it has been well washed and the outer scales have been eliminated.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises eating a 4-ounce (113-gram) meal of fish 2-3 times each week because it is a wonderful source of minerals including iron and omega-3 fatty acids (2).

However, some fish have high concentrations of mercury and other poisons, which can also be found in the skin (3, 4, 5).

As a result, it is advised to select low-mercury fish more frequently than high-mercury fish. Here are a few illustrations of typical fish mercury content (2):

In other words, eating fish flesh carries the same health hazards as eating fish skin. Apply the same rules for selecting fish skin as you would for selecting the kinds of fish to eat.

As long as the fish has been washed and taken care of correctly before eating, fish skin is safe to consume. You can reduce your exposure to potentially dangerous substances by eating fish with skin that is lower in mercury and other pollutants.

Is eating salmon skin healthy?

Yes, salmon skin is healthy for you. In fact, it’s one of the fish’s healthiest portions.

Salmon skin is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B and D, and minerals like niacin and phosphorus, just like the meat. Not only is it a good source of omega-3s, but it also contains the most of these difficult-to-find fatty acids!

In addition to giving your mouth a distinct flavor and texture, leaving the skin on may help to reduce inflammation, improve brain growth, lower your triglyceride levels, which lowers your risk of heart disease.

The good news also continues to get better. Salmon’s many nutrients and beneficial oils are retained by cooking it with the skin on. As a result of the nutrients not being lost during preparation, your food will be more nutrient-dense and taste better.

What sort of salmon is safe to eat when pregnant?

The majority of fish you’ll find in stores and restaurants are acceptable to consume when you’re pregnant at two to three servings (8 to 12 ounces) per week, despite the lengthy list of fish to limit during pregnancy. These consist of:

  • untamed salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Catfish
  • Tilapia
  • Sole
  • Flounder
  • Haddock
  • Halibut
  • Pacific perch
  • Pollock
  • Cod
  • canned tuna light
  • Crab
  • Crawfish
  • Lobster
  • Hake
  • Clams
  • Sea bass, black
  • Anchovies
  • Trout

get conflicting advice about eating salmon while pregnant? One of the best sources of DHA in nature is unquestionably salmon. However, choose wild salmon (which also includes more of those beneficial omega-3 fats) or organic farmed salmon to avoid the increased levels of PCBs frequently seen in farmed salmon.

Is salmon’s dark skin edible?

There is a myth that salmon should not have its skin on because it contains fat. While salmon’s skin is undoubtedly oily, it also contains good fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, that can and should be taken (via Healthline). Eating the skin has an additional advantage.

Is salmon okay when it’s underdone?

Even though eating raw salmon is very normal, eating any form of raw fish or seafood comes with dangers.

Parasites. Salmon and other types of uncooked seafood may have parasites that can make you ill. If you plan to eat salmon raw, these parasites can also be removed by freezing the fish, as they are often destroyed by heat during cooking. However, there is currently no legislation in the United States to ensure that chefs flash-freeze fish before preparing it, which is one of the risks of eating sushi or raw fish in restaurants. a

Fish with questionable grades. Many people look for sushi-grade fish when purchasing raw fish to prepare at home. By using this moniker, the consumer can get a sense of the fish’s quality or freshness.

However, there are currently no restrictions on the usage of the phrase “asushi-gradea” in the United States. As a result, any raw fish may theoretically be classified as sushi-grade. This term is frequently used in supermarkets to refer to their freshest fish inventory.

Bacteria. Consuming raw salmon also carries the danger of germs. Salmonella and Vibrio vulnificus are two prevalent types of food illness that people can get from eating raw fish. Vibrio vulnificus is a bacterium that dwells in warm waters, although salmonella is more typical.

Cross-contamination. Cross-contamination makes eating raw salmon or seafood potentially dangerous. This can occur when even premium fish comes into contact with a contaminated object, such as a knife or plate.

Cross-contamination can also occur in a restaurant if a chef uses a culinary tool or gloves that have touched other raw ingredients.